Interns Shandish and Josh, both 15, with sales engineer Alex Bolden doing work experience at Loadtec Head Office in Kent

Honeywell Training Event

This piece about the Honeywell training event was written by Shandish and Josh, both 15 years of age, who are here doing work experience at Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd Head Office in Kent. They interviewed the staff involved in the training and had to understand industrial technical processes while writing this piece.

Honeywell Training Event

Three members of the Loadtec team –  Sales Engineers Rob Keeler and Alex Bolden, together with Project Engineer Nick Wood – attended the Honeywell training event in Chesterfield, UK. Honeywell is a company that deals with both domestic and industrial electrical and control equipment/software.

They learnt how fuels are blended and supplemented with additives. Honeywell has a product called the MSC-L which is a multi-stream load controller that manages how the fuel is blended and how much of each additive is combined with the product when put into tankers from fuel storage tanks at the terminal. The MSC-L meters and records all transactions associated with the loading process to MID specifications.

The MSC-L is unique due to its easy-to-use buttons and features and compatibility with safety devices including overfill prevention devices and earthing monitors. It has the ability to load different products through different channels simultaneously; it saves and shares how much of the product is inserted into the tanker and the concentration of its blend with the terminal’s automation system.

The event was a showcase of the product and its capabilities with the Loadtec team being shown how it works in a live demo situation with an explanation on the loading, additive injection and blending processes and where the MSC-L would be beneficial. The MSC-L has many optional adaptations that can be integrated to suit the specific needs of the end user.

  1. Fuel delivered to a fuel storage terminal usually by pipeline/sea/river
  2. Fuel tanker driver collects product from terminal
  3. The product must be metered whilst being loaded into the tanker and may require additive injection and blending
  4. Additives or blending chemicals may be added to meet local legislation and/or client requirements
  5. The MSC-L allows the driver to complete the loading and record volumes. The simple easy-to-use large buttons allow the driver to easily operate the MSC-L while wearing personal protective equipment
Loadtec International Sales Director MENA Jean-Philippe Hudelot

Announcing the appointment of International Sales Director MEA Jean-Philippe Hudelot

For Immediate Release - Thursday, 6th July 2017

Loadtec International Sales Director MEA Jean-Philippe HudelotLoadtec Engineered Systems Ltd is pleased to announce that Jean-Philippe Hudelot has joined their team as International Sales Director MEA. Jean-Philippe has many years' experience of successfully leading and developing international sales teams in the loading arm business and is well known throughout Africa and the Middle East, where he will concentrate his activities.

"Loadtec continues to grow and in doing so, it must ensure that its team is the very best, both technically and commercially. The appointment of Jean-Philippe will allow us to develop our African business and strengthen the position we have in the Middle East," explains Alec Keeler, Managing Director of Loadtec.

Welcome to the team Jean-Philippe!

To contact Jean-Philippe, please email him at or contact our Global Communications Manager Angeline with any of your queries.

For other product and service enquiries, call us on +44 1303 813030 or email us now!

Loadtec Service In Control Team

Fuels Loading Brochure 2017

If you are a fuel distributor looking for a one stop shop for all the equipment and services require for loading fuels efficiently and safely, look no further! The Loadtec Engineered Services, Loadtec Service and In Control teams can provide all the correct equipment to allow you to load and unload fuels safely and efficiently. Check out our new fuels loading brochure to find out more...

Loadtec And In Control Fuels Loading Brochure (PDF)

Loadtec Service Team Installing Large Safety Cages and Folding Stairs - Teesside, UK

The Future List

This article has been reproduced from Kent Business Online April 2017.

The Future List reveals the 25 companies in Kent set to change the way we live and do business

Loadtec, Smeeth

This small team of engineers are experts in how to fill and empty liquid tankers – and stop workers falling from height. They are specialists in transferring liquids on a large scale and make loading arms used to fill oil tankers. Founded in 1996, it has clients across Africa, the Middle East and Asia in the chemical, aviation, fertiliser and petroleum industries. Its marine loading arms transfer liquids and gas across all vessels from river barges to super tankers. Its technology also helps transfer fuels in freezing conditions on hard-to-reach oil rigs, particularly in Russia. It also makes platforms to ensure workers use their equipment without risk of falling.

How is it changing the world?

Its innovations allow the oil and gas industry to work more efficiently and safely.

For the full list, please visit The Future List article. The Future List was sponsored by Cripps.

Tank Storage Award Winners 2017

Tank Storage Magazine highlights industry leaders at 2017 Global Tank Storage Awards

This press release was provided by Tank Storage Magazine.

The inaugural Global Tank Storage Awards ceremony was held last week during StocExpo Europe in Rotterdam.

The sold-out ceremony & gala dinner took place at the stunning Floating Pavilion on 29th March.

Organised by the marketing leading publication Tank Storage Magazine, the event was hosted by international comedian Bob Maclaren. The evening’s entertainment also included a magician, casino, photobooth and live band Blend-It.

Attended by 180 industry professionals the ceremony celebrated achievements made by terminal operators, ports, equipment suppliers and individuals.

Following is the list of 2017 Global Tank Storage Award winners:

  • Safety Excellence in Bulk Liquid Storage Award: Ventspils Nafta Terminals
  • Biggest Commitment to Environmental Protection Award: IL&FS Prime Terminals
  • Most Efficient Storage Terminal Award: LBC-Cepsa
  • Best Port Award: Port of Antwerp
  • Most Innovative Technology Award: Elios, Flyability
  • Most Invaluable Product Award: Overfill Prevention Controller EUS-2, Timm Elektronik
  • Best Technology Provider Award: Loadtec Engineered Systems
  • Best Newcomer Award: Frank Schreurs, Managing Director, In-Energy
  • Individual Achievement Award: Ellen Ruhotas, Managing Director, Ratio Group
  • Personality of the Year Award: Tony Quinn, CEO, TankBank International

‘We would like to thank the judges and the event sponsors Concrete Canvas, Loadtec Engineered Systems & TankBank International for making it a night to remember,’ said Margaret Dunn, Tank Storage Magazine’s publisher.

‘Moving forward Tank Storage Magazine will work closely with the industry to establish next year’s judges and categories.’

The 2018 event will be held on the 21st March 2018 in Rotterdam as part of StocExpo Europe, which will also be held in Rotterdam on 20-22nd March.

Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and are available now. Please contact David Kelly for further information on

Full details will be made available at

Further details on next year’s StocExpo will be made available at

Loadtec Zip-Load Integrated Meter Skid Atex Control System & Telescopic Top Loading Arm

The Loading Arm: An Evolution in Safety

This article has been reproduced from Tank Storage Magazine Feb/Mar 2017 issue.

The oil and gas industry is sometimes seen as something from the Jurassic age, much like the products it deals with, an industry where innovation and development lags behind the superfast digital age. Is this perception true? Alec Keeler, managing director of Loadtec Engineered Systems, begs to differ.
Loadtec Zip-Load Integrated Meter Skid Atex Control System & Telescopic Top Loading ArmInnovation and safety is its roots

The modern loading arm was invented in 1938 when Bob Wheaton and John Savage built an articulated pipe system to replace a canvas hose and swivel joint arrangement for loading 1,000-gallon horse-drawn tanker barrels carrying hops in New Jersey, US.

Until this point, rubber hoses were the main method used for fluid loading and unloading on road tankers, rail tank cars and ships (marine loading arms were first made commercially available in the 1950s). By replacing hoses with loading arms, the safety and operational efficiency benefits were numerous:

  • Hoses have limited bend radius, can be catastrophically damaged through poor handling; are an environmental spill waiting to happen and more likely to become a major manual handling incident
  • Loading arms are balanced throughout their movement envelope; are designed not to hit the ground – protecting the valves and couplers; carry a (negotiable) five-year warranty; allow a one-man operation; can be moved into position with ease and left hanging in the air while the operator prepares the tanker connection; are parked neatly and can have various interlocks fitted to give warnings of arm condition or position.

The method of transferring fluids has changed surprisingly little since then. What has changed though is not only the security, reliability, durability and safety of the components used, but also the operation built around a loading arm to make the process of transferring fluid safer, faster and more efficient.

In the autumn of 2015, Loadtec was approached by an international pharmaceutical company in Ireland. They had no experience with liquid tanker loading, having previously only exported in bulk powder form. They required a turnkey solution.

All the client wanted to do was provide clean-dry instrument air, 110 volts and an inlet flange. They wanted Loadtec to manage everything else.

New challenges

In the early 2000s, Loadtec developed a design for waste solvent tanker loading using telescopic loading arms. These were provided extensively to the pharmaceutical industry and set new standards for safe, clean and efficient tanker loading of this volatile liquid.

However, the scope was limited to the loading arm with a telescopic drop pipe and the fall prevention systems which, by then, Loadtec had their credentials firmly established for having the widest portfolio on the market.

The most recent project set new challenges for the UK-based company that it believes has further evolved the concept and pushed the boundaries of ‘plug and play’ loading arm technology.

In this case, the client requested that the station should:

  • be designed to be the most compact size
  • all necessary components at easy working height for maintenance and cleaning
  • ATEX-approved custom control system to interface with the client’s DCS (distributed control system), provide pre-set batch volumes and totaliser along with permissives from a number of safety interlocks:
    • Interlock #1 – Loading arm not parked
    • Interlock #2 – Loading arm cone pressed down on manhole rim
    • Interlock #3 – Telescopic drop pipe touching tanker bottom
    • Interlock #4 – Vapour return line pressure below pre-set limit
    • Interlock #5 – High level probe is dry
    • Interlock #6 – Tanker is correctly earthed and verified
    • Interlock #7 – Dry line detection upstream of the control valve
    • Interlock #8 – Heating system at optimal temperature
Loadtec Zip-Load Rear View of Meter SkidListen, create and innovate

Rather than supply a separate meter skid to control the flow of the product into the tank, Loadtec employed a technique developed on a previous multi-position rail loading project in Saudi Arabia.

The metering and control components are all mounted on the loading arm standpost. This provides the customer with a neat solution which is shipped in two boxes to site and can be assembled in a few hours.

It further eliminates the need for site run spool pieces between the two packages and allows installation to take place in less than one day.

Loadtec Zip-Load Detail View on Control Valve Position IndicatorLoadtec also supplied a control system with batch controller which connected to the site PLC (programmable logic controller) providing assurance to the operators in the control room that all the loading conditions had been met before loading commences. Because the loading process would take a number of hours, the panel was designed to be fully automated but also readable by a security camera watched by a remote operator. The starting point was the platform, this included a large working area, double flight stairs to ground and a canopy over the working area.

This arrived at site from Loadtec’s UK facility in a semi-pre-assembled state. Site time involved bolting the sub-assemblies together and mounting on the foundations.

Next the folding stair, meter skid and top loading arm delivered from the Zip-Load factory in Italy.

These all arrived and were installed by the site team following the IKEA-type instructions provided. The final visit by a Loadtec Service commissioning engineer was to set up the system and ensure everything was working in line with the operating philosophy.

Inspirational technology

Uniqueness in this market is uncommon. Virtually all designs are an adaptation of a previous solution. In this case the design has been very much an evolution, created by a customer need that was listened to, developed and well presented as a solution.

While this solution was developed for the pharmaceutical industry, waste solvent is a chemical and this technology is something that can and should be easily adapted into the oil and gas market today.

The compactness of the design certainly had its own challenges and the Loadtec engineers utilised Solidworks systems to ensure that everything went together seamlessly. Once built, the system was fully tested in the client’s presence for flow and interlock viability at our test facility in the factory.

This meant that the unit could be tested at full flow, physically disrupt all the interlocks, both in turn and in combination, to witness the behaviour of the control system and valves. It also allowed for the simulation of real world issues that can arise during normal tanker loading.

For more information

This article was written by Alec Keeler, managing director of Loadtec Engineered Systems., +44 (0)1303 813030

Tank Storage Magazine The Loading Arm: An Evolution in Safety Page 86-87 Feb/Mar 2017 (PDF)

Loadtec TC-10 Mobile Access Cart - Two Side by Side

TC-10 Mobile Access Cart: Product Presentation

This is a product presentation on the TC-10, or more commonly known as the Mobile Access Cart, created by Alec Keeler, Managing Director of Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd. The TC-10 is a mobile solution that not only presents safe tanker access, it is also versatile, robust, can be used in all-weather conditions and only requires one man or woman to operate.

Loadtec - Award Finalist - Back To Back TCEN4 Tanker Access System With Top Loading Arms

Loadtec Announced as a Two-time Finalist in Inaugural Tank Storage Awards

Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd has been revealed as a finalist in two of the categories in the inaugural Tank Storage Awards – Best Technology Provider and Individual Achievement for its Managing Director, Alec Keeler.

The all new global Tank Storage Awards are designed to highlight those that excel in a range of different categories relating to terminal achievements, equipment innovations, ports and individual success. The award winners will be chosen by a panel of impartial judges from across the sector and will be announced during a lavish gala dinner & ceremony to be held at the Floating Pavilion in Rotterdam on 29 March.

"We’ve been really impressed with the quality of the entries submitted for this year’s Tank Storage Awards. The shortlist will be presented to the judging panel on Monday and they’re going to have a tough decision ahead of them! We can’t wait for the winners to be revealed on the 29th of March, preparations are well underway and the event is almost sold out – it’s going to be a great night!" said Margaret Dunn, the event coordinator of the awards.

Loadtec Engineered Systems recently celebrated 20 years in the business. It is timely that its Managing Director, Alec Keeler, has been nominated for the Individual Achievement Award after leading the company through a period of continual growth and expansion in the last few years which saw the formation of its service arm, Loadtec Service, and also in the acquisition of specialised skid manufacturer and service company In Control Projects. This has led to Loadtec having one of the widest portfolio of products and services for bulk fluid transfer systems and safety access equipment in the industry today.

"Being nominated for Best Technology Provider award is quite a humbling experience. Especially as this is a new and major event in the O&G terminal calendar." Mr Keeler responded when told about the nominations. "Loadtec has 259 years of niche engineering in-house and we have handled pretty much every transportable liquid there is in the last 20 years. We aim for excellence and that is a never-ending journey. Also we have fine and strong competitors keeping us sharp. Strong competition is healthy for the market and the people in it."

Loadtec will be exhibiting with Zipfluid on stand J8 (just outside the conference entrance) at StocExpo from 28-20 March 2017. The companies will be showcasing the Zip-Load range of road, rail and marine loading arms and safety access systems. We will also be offering Italian delicacies and drinks on our stand, please come and talk to our team about your fluid transfer and safety requirements.

Loadtec Skid Load System - Single loading arm, pumping, metering and overfill protection, in container - UK

How Low Can You Go?

This article has been reproduced from Breakthrough Magazine Winter 2016 issue.

Alec Keeler is clearly the creative force behind Loadtec. He’s an ideas man with more than 30 years’ experience in the fluid transfer and fall prevention industry. He loves solving problems, even some that haven’t been encountered yet. We found out how he and the team at Loadtec delivered a solution to an extreme challenge.

One of the biggest challenges that Loadtec’s Managing Director, Alec, has had to tackle came when a prospective client approached them with a project that should have been relatively straightforward, but for one significant factor. Where it was to be installed the temperature regularly drops to -45 Celsius.

Inside Loadtec Skid Load System housed inside a shipping container - Newcastle, UKEstablished 20 years ago, Loadtec is a global provider of solutions for bulk fluid transfer and tanker fall prevention. Where liquids are made they are typically stored in large containers before being transferred, via ship, rail or tanker, for further processing. Loadtec provides the interface between the fixed storage and the transport solution. The broad principles of how this is achieved are similar across most projects, but individual applications vary, depending on the fluid properties, the environment, relevant legislation, toxicity and a range of other factors.

Loadtec is, in essence, a systems integrator. It brings together other manufacturer’s equipment in a carefully designed configuration to meet the requirements of the intended application. Each final solution is different, and the applications can range from simple to highly complex. Two years ago, the company was approached with a project that fell very much into the complex category!

The call came from an engineer working at a massive facility on a Russian island in the North Pacific whose purpose was to bring oil ashore. Diesel, required across the site to power vehicles and other equipment, was delivered in bulk, stored and then distributed as needed. The engineer was looking for a way to empty the diesel supply tankers and fill distribution vehicles. What was being loaded and unloaded needed to be measured accurately, and in absolute safety.

“Initially it sounded like a relatively straightforward application. But that was when he said there were extenuating circumstances,” Alec explained. “He said that in winter, at night, the temperature can drop to -45C.

“It was a huge challenge but was something I had been thinking about for a while, so an application coming along where we could test the theory was a fantastic opportunity.”

Loadtec’s first decision was to put everything into a huge box, and a shipping container presented the ideal solution. The container was super-insulated so it would be able to stand up to the extremes of temperature. Using a shipping container had other benefits. “It’s a standard format, so it was easy to pick up and put on a truck or to place on the deck of a ship to deliver it anywhere in the world,” Alec said.

While it helped with the temperature conundrum, the innovative approach created other challenges. The client had specified significant flow rates so the tankers could be emptied and filled quickly. That meant that space in the container would be tight.

Maintenance of the system was another consideration, so someone needed to be able to get into the container to ensure everything was functioning properly. But it also needed to be secure so unauthorised personnel could not get into it.

The answer was to split the container to create one area for the process plant with a separate area acting as a control room. It meant the tanker drivers could access the container safely and control the transfer. It seemed like a simple but effective solution until it was discovered that Russian regulations demanded an approved firewall between the two sections. It was also established that the planned insulation needed to be fire-tested and the firewall needed to be substantial. Loadtec could not just apply a paint layer or similar.

This was a significant development with knock-on implications and one that could have derailed the whole project.

As well as the fire performance of the insulation the team needed to consider how to pass cabling through the firewall. They had to invent an entirely new ducting solution. It took several weeks to develop a solution that met the requirements of the insulation supplier, to accommodate the cabling and to seal at both ends.

Once they were happy with their approach, another container had to be mocked up and sections of it sent to Texas, where tests were conducted to see how long it would take for a fire to penetrate the insulation and start to damage the box’s infrastructure.

It was a tense period in the project, but the design passed the tests and gained all the necessary approvals.

Of all the projects undertaken by Loadtec, this one had the most significant element of emerging criteria and new challenges.

As well as the fire resistance, the extreme temperature threw up a list of other challenges. The elastomer seals that are usually used would shatter at such low temperatures, so alternatives had to be found. Aluminium pipes had to be swapped for stainless steel. Then everything on the outside the container had to be heated by electrical tracing. There were even some areas where the Loadtec team went back to traditional methods. An example was the decision to use counterweights on the loading arm, rather than risking the failure of a more complicated modern solution in the extreme conditions.

It made the project interesting but had huge implications for the client, with the project cost finishing five times higher than initial estimates. With the design finalised, approvals were achieved and the fluid transfer system was built, then the project moved on to the installation stage. The low temperatures influenced this stage of the project, too. Timing was vital. The equipment left in January and arrived on site in May. Everything had to be assembled through June and July so testing could take place in August. If the installation had slipped into September, the installation teams would have encountered difficulties working outside.

The schedule was adhered to despite more challenges that could not have been foreseen. A local tanker driver, who always opened a ‘little valve’ to help his tanker empty more quickly, was a great example. The team had never seen this before.

So when they were trying to work out why air was getting into the system, it wasn’t immediately obvious. But once they realised what was causing it, some local training was introduced!

While Alec enjoyed the project, he also felt the company as a whole benefited from the experience.

“Technically we learnt a lot. Our management of projects of that scale improved during the job and subsequently we are better equipped to handle projects where we have a higher than normal level of innovation,” he concluded.

So it’s clear that extreme doesn’t cause a problem for Alec and the team at Loadtec: problems are considered opportunities to find creative solutions. As for their next big challenge, it hasn’t arrived yet. But I suspect Alec has the beginnings of the answer floating around in his head.

Breakthrough Magazine Winter 2016 Loadtec Article (PDF)

Loadtec Zip-Load Factory Visit - Equipment Undergoing Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)

Twenty Years of Loadtec

On 9 December 2016 (this Friday!), Loadtec Engineered Systems will celebrate its 20th anniversary in the field of loading arms and access equipment. We want to celebrate this significant milestone and share with our customers, suppliers and friends, some facts about our business and our team. We commissioned this wonderful infographic that will give you some fascinating facts about the company.

Twenty Years of Loadtec InfographicOur staff like to work with us. In twenty years, one person resigned because he’d come to an industry he didn’t like (really?), two were reluctantly released, one moved away to be with his girlfriend (subsequently married her and now has two children) and two retired.  Our staff are a very valuable feature of our business and we encourage their growth and enterprise.

As a company, we have had hard times and good times. But through it all, we can truly say our customers are at the heart of it all and we genuinely work very hard to meet and exceed customer requirements.

We don’t always succeed, but we learn from our mistakes and improve. There is fun and there is frustration. It has been fascinating and, sometimes frightening to see how the customer has evolved.

Twenty years have seen changes in the way customers seek out needed products or solutions. The internet has become a resource that was unimaginable by many 20 years ago. The levels of documentation and scrutiny have increased exponentially, probably driven by litigation and insurance claims because whilst safety has improved, those improvements have been made by investment in appropriate, modern equipment rather than more documentation.

So, where will the next 5, 10 or 20 years take us? New materials will lead to innovative designs. But, due to the transient nature of modern  employment, many end-users will find themselves facing a lack of suppliers carrying an experienced understanding of customer needs. Loadtec’s philosophy, training and ethos tells us, that will not be the case with us.

We hope you will raise a glass in spirit to us this Friday and toast to our anniversary and our continual success.

Alec Keeler - Managing Director, Sue Keeler - Operations Director

Loadtec Six Swivel Bottom Unloading Arm with Emergency Release Coupler - Limerick, Ireland

Fully Loaded

This article has been reproduced from Hazardous Cargo Magazine November 2016 issue.

Hcb November 16 with Loadtec on Cover
Tanker Loading • Alec Keeler, Managing Director of Loadtec Engineered Systems, asks whether anything has really changed in 20 years

Everything changes … or does it? Assumptions are made every day in business and one of those is that, as technology advances, our world becomes safer. Look at air travel: despite some well publicised recent incidents, air travel remains one of the safest form of transport, with the number of fatalities having been in constant decline since the mid-1990s. Aircraft today are bitter, better, more efficient and safer than ever.

Can the same be said about road tanker loading? There are risks associated with handling products and risks connected with using and repairing equipment. These risks existed 20 or 30 years ago and continue to exist today. Let’s take a quick look at what has not changed in the last 20 years:

  • tankers are still between 3.2 and 4.2 metres high
  • the condition of tankers fluctuates greatly
  • tanker walkways are widely variable and, occasionally, just not there
  • solvents are dangerous/flammable/toxic/environmental hazards
  • tanker driver competence is variable
  • concrete is very hard and humans are very soft
Loadtec Bottom Loading Arm with Pneumatic Folding Stairs and Safety Cage - Limerick, IrelandSO WHAT’S NEW?

In 1999 the UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) issued a publication called Working on top of chemical tankers, which was last updated in 2012. This went on to form an important part of the Work at Height Regulations introduced in 2005. Section three of the publication states addressed key themes including accident prevention, hierarchy of control measures and ‘safety as an efficiency’.

Where working on top of tankers or tank containers is deemed necessary, the risks to consider will include falls from a height, access and egress, contact with product and exposure to fumes. To prevent falls from tankers, the following hierarchy of control measures needs to be considered:

  • eliminate the need to access tops of tankers
  • provision of a loading/unloading gantry
  • tanker design features such as ladders, walkways and collapsible handrails
  • use of portable ladders with platforms
  • installation of fall arrest systems.

This hierarchy tells the operator how to prioritise controls. What it says is that, if tank top access is unavoidable and no other fall prevention method is possible, then a fall arrest system must be put in place.

Fall prevention does just that: it prevents the fall from taking place. Fall arrest hopes to minimise the consequence of the fall that has already taken place. The harness and wire systems of fall arrest are totally reliant on the competence or willingness of the operator to fit the harness correctly. The consequences of not doing so can be very serious.

Loadtec Back-to-Back TCEN4 Tanker Access System with Top Loading Arms - Norfolk, UKSAFETY AS EFFICIENCY

Any director of a terminal or plant has the primary corporate aim of providing a safe and clean working environment for site employees and the public. That means using the best technology and working practices – and this is non-negotiable.

Safety is not about constraint. Done correctly, it provides a working environment where choice is restricted, but movement is not. The operator, faced with a repetitive task that involves manual input, will always try to find short cuts - ways of saving their precious time, reducing their inconvenience and generally making their lives easier.

Whether using top or bottom loading, and whether the product is hazardous or not, eventually an operator will be required to get onto a tanker for inspection or cleaning. So the question remains: how do you get an operator onto and off the tanker in complete safety?

Loadtec Engineered Systems was set up almost 20 years ago primarily to sell loading arms but, increasingly, the company is supplying total solutions that make a difference to the whole working environment.

The simple folding stairs with safety cage has been the go-to solution for as long as I have been in the industry (a very long time!). But with the tightening of legislation and the variation in tanker profiles and walkway configurations, a better and safer solution is required.

Cue the multi-modal: a vertically elevating platform that can be between 4 and 15 metres in length. It travels through a standard 1.5-m range (more if you want), with a built-in floor that is removable wherever access to the tanker top is needed, with the added benefit of being able to tilt to match the slope on a tanker top.

These systems have been sold successfully by Loadtec since 1996 all over the world. Multi-modals are utterly reliable and provide foolproof safety with ease of operation. They are manufactured to globally accepted standards and are used by virtually all blue chip pharmaceutical companies somewhere in the world. What is more interesting is they are relatively cheap considering the lifespan and advantages they bring.


Loadtec was approached by a multinational refiner to update an old loading shed at its facility on the south coast of England. The issue was that the infrastructure, built in the 1950s, was designed for truck stock that was a lot smaller. Now they were receiving 4.2-m ISO tankers and the existing access arrangements were no longer appropriate.

The client was interested in the multi-modal but were concerned that the amount of space available would not be sufficient. In actual fact, these units are generally speaking quite compact. Each one is custom designed to suit the particular application so for most applications, with thoughtful design, a multi-modal can be fitted in even the most awkward of spaces.

In this instance, because the platform was only 3.4 m high, Loadtec also designed and built a mini step-up platform to be installed on the existing platform. This allowed the access to the modal to be brought up to the 4 m recommended height, meaning that the folding stair was never at too acute an angle during use.

The client’s original plan was to re-use the existing fixed reach top loading arms. This is something that needs to be considered carefully when integrating old and new equipment. The working envelope of the loading arm needs to be empathetic with any new access equipment. Eventually in this case two new arms were provided, which were able to serve both sides of the access platform. This meant that even while the multi-modal was being installed, loading could continue as planned on the other side of the platform, using the legacy folding stair.

The new arms had a far greater range than those they replaced and were also manual telescopic arms. The previous arms had a 2.5-m long drop pipe to prevent splash loading; this made them unwieldy to move and difficult to park. The new telescopic arms did away with the need for such a long drop pipe and as such improved the ergonomics of the situation.

This example also illustrates the benefits of engaging a single provider for safety and liquid transfer solutions, where there is a crucial need to integrate loading and access equipment. The scope of a project can vary quite a lot from the start to its implementation and the equipment design needs to reflect that; any provider should be able to adjust the equipment accordingly without compromising on the safety aspect.

With well established manufacturing facilities for loading arms and access equipment in Europe and the US, Loadtec has safely delivered safe and efficient solutions to bulk liquid transfer and access systems globally.

HCB November 2016 Issue Pages 60-61 (PDF)

ASK 4996

Zip-Load Factory Open Day 2016

Past, present and future customers of the Zip-Load range of loading arms and accessories are kindly invited to visit the factory on an open day organised and hosted by Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd, together with partner Zipfluid Srl, on Monday, 28 November 2016.

The open day will include a tour of the factory, technical presentations and equipment demonstrations where clients can see for themselves the high quality manufacturing process of the Zip-Load products. Details are as follows. Please contact Angeline Radley on +44 7584 229578 or if you are interested in attending the event.


Hosted by Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd and Zipfluid Srl


Monday 28 November 2016


Zipfluid Srl

Via Commenda, 2

40012 Calderara di Reno (BO)



11 – 11.30am – Arrival of guests and introductions

11.30am – Start of factory tour plus equipment demonstrations

12.30pm – Presentation by Alec Keeler, MD of Loadtec

2pm – Networking lunch in factory

3pm – Technical presentations

4pm – End of event followed by drinks


Visit to the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museo OR Museo Ferrari Maranello in the afternoon

(Optional and TBC depending on numbers)


Social dinner (Optional)

This event is hosted by Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd and is an invite-only event open to certain clients and industry guests. Loadtec will host the event and will cover the food and event costs for the day, plus additional costs for the pre and post event activities.   

You will be responsible for travelling arrangements and costs to and from the event, plus any nights you will be staying. The recommended hotel is the 4* Savoia Hotel Regency, which is located only a five minutes’ drive from the Zip-Load factory. Bologna airport is also only a 10 minutes’ drive away from the factory.